SGS Schoolyard LTER student partners win awards at science fair

Network News Spring 2006, Vol. 19 No. 1

Two students from the Rough Rock Community School of Rough Rock, Arizona, recently won outstanding prizes and recognition at the National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair (NAISEF), held in Albuquerque, NM, on March 23-25, 2006, for work based on projects with the Shortgrass Steppe (SGS) LTER/University of Northern Colorado (UNC) EdEn partnership.  The project is co-led by SGS’s John Moore and UNC’s Lori Reinsvold and Rob Wang, who have been very involved in the hands-on activities with the students.

The Fair also recognized five other students or teams from the school for excellence in their area of science and engineering. Teachers at Rough Rock attributed the success of these five partly to the excitement about scientific research generated by the SGS LTER/UNC EdEn partnership.

Of the following NAISEF results, the first two student projects were a direct result of Rough Rock’s partnership with UNC and the SGS LTER.

Natasha Gail

Project Title: Conditions that Affect the Resolution of the Global Positioning System

Grand Prize: American Science and Engineering Society (AISES) - Automatic funding from AISES to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Indianapolis, Indiana, May 17-13.

First Place: Earth and Space Science

Special Awards for Geoscience Excellence (Association for Women Geoscientists); Most Outstanding Exhibit in Materials Science (The ASM Materials Education Foundation); 3rd Place-The NASA Space Exploration Special Award (NASA Glenn Research Center); Ability and Creativity in an Atmospheric Science Exhibit (American Meteorological Society Computer & Computational Sciences Divisions); Scholarship Award of $5,000 (Los Alamos National Laboratory); Naval Science Award of $75.00 (The Office of Naval Research); Outstanding Science Project Award (The United States Army); and Outstanding Science & Engineering Award of jump drive, portfolio, and scientific calculator (United States Air Force).

Alissa Riggs

Project Title: Water Quality on the Navajo Nation

Second Place: Environmental Science

Special Awards: Water Prize Award (United States Environmental Protection Agency); Water Prize Award (Water Environment Federation); and nomination for the US Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition. Alissa was promised that if she does well at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition, she will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

The following results are only indirectly related to the partnership with SGS LTER/UNC, in particular to the energy and enthusiasm developed for scientific research in the above projects.

LaDonna Sam

Project Title: The Lung Capacity of Rough Rock High School Students

1st place: Medicine and Health

Special Awards: Senior Math Competition Award of $75.00 (American Indian Science and Engineering Society)

Norvell Tsosie

Project Title: The Beliefs of Rough Rock High School Students Regarding Marijuana

3rd Place: Behavioral and Social Sciences

Garrison Yellowman and Dan Yazzie, Team Project

Project Title: Rat-Trap Powered Vehicle & Motor Powered Vehicle: A Comparison Study

2nd Place: Engineering

Raviana Nez, Vircina Nez and Misha Yazzie, Team Project

Project Title: Traditional Corn vs. Commercial Corn

3rd Place: Botany

Natasha Thomas and Johanna Tsosie, Team Project

Project Title: Watermelon and Squash Grown Hydroponically

3rd Place: Botany

We believe that the successes of our students at NAISEF are a testimony to the positive effect that the SGS LTER/UNC partnership with Rough Rock Community School has had on our students. On behalf of the students of Rough Rock Community School, we thank SGS LTER and UNC for the support and opportunities that they provided to our students as a result of this partnership.